In the spring of 2011, Wisconsinites took to the streets in what became the largest and liveliest labor demonstrations in modern American history. Protesters in the Middle East sent greetings—and pizzas—to the thousands occupying the Capitol building in Madison, and 150,000 demonstrators converged on the city.
In a year that has seen a revival of protest in America, here is a riveting account of the first great wave of grassroots resistance to the corporate restructuring of the Great Recession.
It Started in Wisconsin includes eyewitness reports by striking teachers, students, and others (such as Wisconsin-born musician Tom Morello), as well as essays explaining Wisconsin’s progressive legacy by acclaimed historians. The book lays bare the national corporate campaign that crafted Wisconsin’s anti-union legislation and similar laws across the country, and it conveys the infectious esprit de corps that pervaded the protests with original pictures and comics.
This piece by Kim Moody was first published in the September/October 2012 issue of Against the Current.
Strikers surround a mail truck, Oakland General Strike, 1946.
Inspired by the boldness of the movement, activists of Occupy Oakland issued a “call for a general strike” in that city for November 2 — a sign of the movement’s radicalism and its sense of where social power lies.
One criticism of the Occupy activists was that they had not consulted the unions. Had they done so, however, it is very unlikely that very many union leaders would have agreed to jointly “call” such an action. But what’s more important, as I will argue, is that general strikes or mass strikes are seldom simply “called” from above, if at all, or until they are well underway — and those that are “called” tend to be called off just as easily.
Bernie Sanders led Hillary Clinton by a 22-point lead in the New Hampshire primaries, the second biggest democratic New Hampshire primary win in history!
And a recent Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll showed that 43 percent of Iowa Democratic caucus goers described themselves as “socialist” while only 38 percent described themselves as “capitalist.”
Bernie Sanders has tapped in to a growing popular movement that demands economic justice for all. Embrace the resurgence of socialist ideas by picking up some new and recently published books on socialist history and American politics.
All of the books on our US Politics Reading List
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